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MEDIA ADVISORY                                  April 24, 2014


Contact: Randolph May at 202-285-9926


Free State Foundation President Randolph May Reacts to the FCC's Latest Net Neutrality Proposal      

Free State Foundation President Randolph May issued the following statement reacting to reports that the Federal Communications Commission is set to release a new net neutrality proposal in the aftermath of the D.C. Circuit's January 2014
Verizon v. FCC decision:



"In my view there is no need for the FCC to do anything at this point other than engage in watching waiting concerning Internet marketplace developments. But assuming that Chairman Tom Wheeler is moving forward with some new net neutrality proposal, and assuming the accuracy of the press reports, there appear to be elements in his proposal that may mitigate the otherwise potential harmful effects of unnecessary government intervention.


If the Commission adopts a standard of 'commercially reasonable terms' that is somewhat flexible, rather than 'discrimination,' in assessing the lawfulness of differentiated broadband Internet offerings, this would be far preferable than reliance on the traditional common carrier non-discrimination standard. And if the proposal indicates that the Commission will act on a case-by-case basis in response to individual complaints containing specific allegations of consumer harm, this too would be a positive step. Finally, if the Commission steers clear of applying net neutrality rules to wireless providers, then this also would be positive.


If the Commission does move forward to adopt new net neutrality regulations, it is crucial that it keep the focus on benefitting consumers and overall consumer welfare - not on protecting or advantaging one set of competitors or another in the Internet ecosystem. Broadband Internet providers - whether they are cable operators, telephone companies, satellite operators, fiber companies, or wireless providers - are investing billions of dollars each year to modernize and expand their networks. Ultimately, the costs of these high-speed networks must be recovered, and consumers will benefit if Internet providers have the flexibility to explore new pricing models that are commercially reasonable."



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Randolph J. May, President of the Free State Foundation, is a former FCC Associate General Counsel and a former Chairman of the American Bar Association's Section of Administrative Law and Regulatory Practice. Mr. May is a public member of the Administrative Conference of the United States, and a Fellow at the National Academy of Public Administration.


Mr. May is a nationally recognized expert in communications law, Internet law and policy, and administrative law and regulatory practice. He is the author of more than 150 scholarly articles and essays on communications law and policy, administrative law, and constitutional law. Most recently, Mr. May is the editor of the new book, "Communications Law and Policy in the Digital Age: The Next Five Years." He is the author of A Call for a Radical New Communications Policy: Proposals for Free Market Reform. And he is the editor of the book, New Directions in Communications Policy and co-editor of other two books on communications law and policy: Net Neutrality or Net Neutering: Should Broadband Internet Services Be Regulated? and Communications Deregulation and FCC Reform.  


The Free State Foundation is a non-profit, independent Section 501(c)(3) free market-oriented think tank.


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